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Dr. Kyoungjin Bae

Kyoungjin Bae
Assistant Professor
New West 109


I am a historian of late imperial China with research specialties in crafts, material culture, and technology. I am also interested in the intersection of early modern ecology and trade. My research approaches China from a transnational and transregional perspective – in particular, from its maritime connections with other empires. I am currently working on a book manuscript that examines the sociomaterial history of Cantonese woodworkers’ skill across Canton, Beijing, and Calcutta during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In tandem, another line of my research looks into tropical hardwoods as a resource during the Qing dynasty. It situates resource management in dialogue with the Qing view of “waste/disuse (fei),” offering a new perspective on “use” in the early modern context.


Henry Luce-ACLS China Studies Early Career Fellowship (2022-2023)
Junior Mellon Fellowship at the School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study (Fall 2022)
Hang Seng Bank Golden Jubilee Education Fund for Research (2018)
Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (2018)
Postdoctoral Fellowship at Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan (2016-2017)



Kupiao and the Accounting System of the Imperial Household Workshops” co-authored with Yijun Wang in Dorothy Ko, Martina Siebert, Kaijun Chen, ed., Making the Palace Machine Work: Mobilizing People, Objects, and Nature in the Qing Empire, pp. 93-123. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2021.

“Along the Globe: The Material Culture of Round Tables in High-Qing Canton,” in Monica Juneja, Anna Grasskamp, ed., EurAsian Matters: China, Europe, and the Transcultural Object, 1600-1800 (Transcultural Research – Heidelberg Studies on Asia and Europe in a Global Context), Cham: Springer, 2018.

Referred articles

“Export Furniture and Artisanal Translation in Eighteenth-Century Canton,” Isis: A Journal of History of Science Society 113, no. 2 (June 2022): 310-330.

“Taste as Governor: Soy Sauce in Late Chosŏn and Colonial Korea,” Gastronomica 20, no. 4 (2020): 53-63.

“Commentary to Fitzpatrick-Matthews and Flemming: Tracing Objects across Spatiotemporal Boundaries,” Fragments 7 (2018): 37-44.

“Should the Industrial Revolution be the Landmark of ‘the Modern’?: Three Approaches and a Critical Reconceptualization of Early Modern Global History.” Korean Journal of British Studies vol. 28 (December 2012): 443-466.

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